Every day we hear the Republican Party and/or Conservatives being slammed.
Sometimes it’s subtle, like a little remark embedded in a popular TV show or a liberal diss in a story in the newspaper. Sometimes the slams are more like an industrial refrigerator being dropped on our heads. A day never seems to go by without some outrageous remark against Trump by a celebrity/musician/singer/writer. Just recently it was Harry Potter author JK Rowling who allowed some tampered video to incite her in a rant against Trump hating handicapped children.
Then there’s always our own. GOP senators refusing to repeal Obamacare didn’t look good. Then we have our own commentators and never Trumper pundits who insist on circular firing squads.
From all this you might think we’re done for.
I’m not just saying that because I want it to be so. Take it from a liberal.
Josh Kraushaar writes a piece in the National Journal called “The emerging Democratic minority?” In it he lauds the Dems for uniting against Obamacare repeal,
But even after six months of shambolic Republican governance, Democrats are still viewed as an unacceptable alternative to many persuadable voters in middle America.
Those were the sobering findings of a Democratic survey commissioned by the party-backed House Majority PAC, which Politico and McClatchy first reported. The poll surveyed working-class white voters in pivotal districts that Democrats are targeting in the midterms. Despite the Trump turmoil in Washington, Republicans held a 10-point lead on the generic ballot (43-33 percent) among these blue-collar voters. Democrats hold a whopping 61 percent disapproval rating among these voters, with only 32 percent approving. Even Trump’s job-approval rating is a respectable 52 percent with the demographic in these swing districts.
Are you surprised? I’m not.
The Dems think they can swing economic issues in their favor. Right, because that worked so well for them in 2016? With what? The ideas they have are all stale and older than my beta video recorder. He says that “By a stunning 35-point margin, blue-collar white voters believe that Republicans will be better at improving the economy and creating jobs than Democrats. Under Trump, the economy has been growing—even in the disadvantaged parts of the country. Between promising job creation and Trump’s own paeans to blue-collar work, it’s hard to see the GOP numbers changing significantly.”
Kraushaar thinks that even if they were to win on economic issues, cultural ones are hurting them. I wonder if calling fellow Americans “deplorables” and “irredeemable” to the whoops and laughs of their base might have something to do with it. Once said, it’s very hard to get rid of the image they came up with.
In the short term, the House will give Democrats their best opportunity to prove they can make inroads despite the political hurdles. To win back control in the lower chamber, they will need to win Republican-held seats both in the suburbs and in small-town America. It’s not an either-or proposition. But if they fall short despite such a promising political environment, the longer-term ramifications for the party’s ability to regain congressional power are discouraging.
Just look at the Senate maps for the next two cycles. Republicans are likely to expand their majority next year even in a poor political environment because they’re hardly defending any seats next year. Even if they only win a few red-state races, their majority could easily be sustainable even beyond the next presidential election.
Consider: The Senate map for Democrats doesn’t get much friendlier in 2020. Most of the Republicans elected in the 2014 wave hail from conservative states that were once held by (now-extinct) moderate Democrats. Republicans will face challenges holding seats in North Carolina, Colorado, and Iowa—but after that, the pickings are slim. Even if Republicans net just one Senate seat next year, their long-term future looks pretty good. (And Democrats won’t be able to blame gerrymandering for future Senate woes.)
You would think at some point it would dawn on them to start working with the Trump administration and the GOP. By doing that, some rational Dems could probably land a seat or two. Don’t count on rationality to be part of the liberal playbook. It never has been and looks like it never will be.